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Sentence Completion


4 Main Types of Sentence Completion Problems


ISEE Verbal Reasoning Sentence Completion


4 Main Types of Sentence Completion Problems

There are 4 major types of sentence completion problems: 1) contrast, 2) cause and effect, 3) definition and 4) examples.



1. Contrast

    • The words that can indicate contrast:

      • but, although, however, rather, even though, once, instead of, despite



Skeptical farmers predicted that George Washington Carver’s experiments with soil improvement would fail, but Carver himself remained -------.

  1.   amazed

  2.   indifferent

  3.   optimistic

  4.   suspicious

Clues> “Skeptical”, “fail”, “but”   
Answer> (C)



Although once ------- in Africa, cheetah populations have been greatly reduced due to hunting, loss of habitat, and decline of the cheetah’s prey.

  1. attractive

  2. threatened

  3. unknown

  4. widespread

Clues> “Although”, “once”, “have been reduced”   
Answer> (D)


2.  Cause & Effect

    • The words that indicate contrast

      • because, since, therefore, thus, hence, accordingly, so, when, after, as

    • There might be no particular word that indicates cause and effect.


Since the student looked puzzled, their teacher -------.

  1. faces became quite cold

  2. classmates began to arrive

  3. friend gave them a present

  4. teacher repeated the directions

Clues> “Since”, “puzzle” ---> what can you do when your students look confused?
Answer> (D)


3.  Definition

    • The word in the blank is almost directly explained in the sentence.



As the excitement of the holiday festivities began to -------, the children became calmer and more focused on their schoolwork.

  1. flourish

  2. peak

  3. resume

  4. subside

Clues> “excitement”, “calmer” ---> which word means to become calmer?
Answer> (D)


4.  Examples

    • The word in the blank is indirectly explained or examples of the blank word are given.

    • The words that indicate examples:

      • for example, for instance, such as



To reach maturity, a seagoing loggerhead turtle must survive many -------, such as attacks by gulls and hungry fish.

  1. allies

  2. destinations

  3. hazards

  4. voyages

Clues> “such as”, “attacks by gulls and hungry fish”
Answer> (C)



* Sample Questions Source: ERB ISEE Practice Test